While the 40 years of Star Wars panel was light on news, it was fairly heavy on the feels. The much-vaunted surprises turned out to be George Lucas (as predicted,) Harrison Ford (who I don’t think anyone expected) and Billie Lourd, who took part in a truly epic tribute to Carrie Fisher.
I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house after the tribute video (above,) and it was only enhanced by the reveal of John Williams and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra playing Princess Leia’s theme. They followed up with the Main Theme and the Imperial March, just in time to allow us to regain our composure.
The video does contain a look at Fisher on-set in The Last Jedi, but in the scheme of things that feels secondary. And while the panel did mainly focus on the first 6 films, it’s really only appropriate that it ended the way it did. Tomorrow, we’ll look ahead.
It seems that John Williams didn’t tell a Boston crowd that he was beginning work soon on Episode VIII, as earlier reports have claimed. Star Wars News Net has a video of his remarks regarding VIII, and he only mentions signing on and seeing a rough cut of the film “in a few weeks.” The conspiracy theorists can stand down – per usual, actual scoring is generally one of the last things to be done on a film.
The Force Awakens received five Oscar nominations this morning, all in technical categories. John Williams got his 50th nomination for the score. ILM’s Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould are up for the film’s Visual Effects. Matthew Wood and David Acord are nominated for sound editing, with Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson for sound mixing. The biggest surprise is Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey for editing.
the 88th Academy Awards will be given out Sunday, February 28.
24violins.com does a cover of ‘Rey’s Theme’ from John Williams’ The Force Awakens score, using “only violin sounds and Native Instruments Maschine plus Komplete Kontrol.” They lost me at “only violins,” but I do know the result is pretty fantastic. (via)
The Force Awakens is heading for a $200 million opening weekend, according to the early estimates. That puts it in sight of Jurassic World’s $208.4M record, something many doubted would be possible due to the usual holiday box office trends.
Disney says that it brought in $57M from the Thursday night previews, with Friday showings likely bringing the total to $100M.
→ John Williams talks about the score with the Los Angeles Times, including what seems to have become the score’s standout, ‘Rey’s Theme’. Meanwhile, you can listen to the full score on several streaming services, including Spotify.
→ Daniel Craig made a cameo after all, according to Entertainment Weekly, though I’m also seeing a lot of skeptical fans due to… Accent reasons.
60 Minutes posted extra footage after tonight’s feature on The Force Awakens, including John Williams conducting some of the first music in the film, but we also get a glimpse of the scene with Rey, BB-8, Teedo and the luggabeast.
→ Lupita Nyong’o tells Buzzfeed why she chose to play a CGI character.
→ Rolling Stone shares a few things they learned about The Force Awakens that didn’t make the main article.
In Variety, John Williams reveals that the motif for a new character in The Force Awakens is based on a Kipling poem translated into Sanskrit (which could give us something reminiscent of The Phantom Menace’s ‘Duel of the Fates’).
→ People sheds just a tiny it of light on Andy Serkis’ Supreme Leader Snoke – or at least, his height.
→ In Mexico City, Kathleen Kennedy revealed that exteriors for Episode VIII and Rogue One will shoot on location in Mexico, according to Excelsior (English) It’s a bit unclear, but she also may have confirmed Benicio del Toro?
→ Rolling Stone has posted their complete Carrie Fisher interview (only some of which made it into their cover story). She discusses her upcoming book, The Princess Diarist, the nature of fame, and not being surprised by Episode VII. Her dog Gary, meanwhile, now has his own Instagram.
→ “I couldn’t be more delighted to see the amazing fan response to Captain Phasma,” Gwendoline Christie tells ComicBook, where she also talks about the physicality of the character.